Surrealism and stupidity of Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown kids show
Absurdist comic Phil Burgers a refreshing antidote to corporate Fringe
This article is from 2011.
Anyone who saw last year’s late-night Fringe anarchy from Dr Brown may raise an eyebrow to learn that he’s now doing a kids’ show, as well as another full-on physically comedic adult hour. To the man behind the mask, absurdist American comic Phil Burgers, this is simply a natural development for his brand of childlike clowning.
‘I did something at a kids’ birthday party in Los Angeles recently,’ he recalls. ‘Gathering stuff from people and finding props and costumes. But I realised I couldn’t just do the character of Dr Brown for kids, because it’s too subtle. So I had to make it more animated and extrovert – without being like a children’s entertainer.’
Burgers is a refreshing antidote to the ever more corporate nature of the modern Fringe, with his shows a triumph of experimentation and improvising. ‘There’s no theme, it’s just surrealism and stupidity,’ he says. ‘There’s this idiot on stage who’s trying to get things right, so the microphone keeps hitting me or I keep falling over while trying to put skis on. It’s about creating a place of play, fun and chaos, though within that they know that I’m in charge. I’m kind of a teacher or babysitter.’
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